The first program the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee established was the Goran Milić Culinary Academy at the Resource Center for persons with speech and hearing impairments in Kotor, Montenegro. The purpose of the culinary academy is to teach young students from the Resource Center the basic skills of food preparation for entry level positions in Kotor Resorts and Restaurants.
Santa Barbara City College culinary student, Alberto Santamaria, has been chosen by the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee to intern at the prestigious Regent Porto Montenegro for the summer of 2022. This informal program had its beginnings in 2010 when Randy Bublitz, former chair of the Culinary Arts School at SBCC, traveled to Kotor to teach a group of young students from the Institute for Children With Disabilities the basic skills for entry level work in Montenegro’s resorts and restaurants. These students, despite their hearing impairments, thrived in the restaurant environment creating multiple employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
The success of the program also resulted in SBCC culinary students, Ava Engle and Marcelo Chacon, being invited to intern at the Regent Porto Montenegro in the summer of 2021. The impression these two made on the manager and chef of the Resort resulted in an agreement for continuing the relationship between SBCC culinary tudents and the Regent Porto Montenegro Resort.
The Santa Barbara Sister City Committee is pleased to have established a meaningful exchange program between our Sister Cities that touches the lives of young people for years to come.